R2 – Lights and Servos

I’ve ordered all of the electronics I need, just waiting for the foot motors to arrive. I’m thankful for the Amazon gift cards I got from Christmas and my Birthday. They have made this project much more affordable.

The hardest part of this project will be the electronics so I’m starting small, trying to understand the foundation of various parts I’ll be using. There are some video tutorials that show you how to plug everything in and upload the software, but I’d like to actually understand how each component works so I can modify things when I want to and apply these skills to other projects.

I started with getting acquainted with soldering again. It’s a skill I have not used in a very long time. Jess got me a new soldering iron, with a finer tip and adjustable temperature. I feel it made life much easier.

I soldered the pins onto an Ardunio Nano, the pictures are actually from my Adafruit FX Sound Board, but I did the same thing. I just forgot the pictures. I think in the future I’ll use the magnifiying / LED headset I got in the states… these eyes are not as young as they used to be.

With the pins in place and some time reading I tackled making a simple LED blink using the Nano. Soon after I grabbed a programmable LED strip I’ve had forever and never used and gave it a go. The LED strip has me excited for other projects, like custom lightsabers!

A single blinking light.
Programmable LED strip running a sample script.

Next I figured I’d try my hand at getting a servo to move. It didn’t take long to get working but figuring out how to program the movement to where I needed it took some trial and error. I’m sure I’ll have to find tune it once it is mounted in the dome.

SG90 servo moving a dome panel hinge.

Overall I’m pretty happy with my progress. I’ve got a bunch of filament coming this week, so I can get back to printing R2’s body. I’ve also been printing a Phase 2 Clone bucket for a buddy. I’ll be sure to post pics of both as I get more done!

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